Toxic herbicides ban to stay

Toxic herbicides ban to stay

Industry Minister Suriya Juangrungreangkit on Thursday insisted the ban on the use of paraquat and chlorpyrifos won't be lifted, amid reports the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) was pushing for a review of the ban.

Mr Suriya, who chaired the committee which ultimately banned the use of the toxic herbicides in 2019, said the restrictions were based on evidence that showed the herbicides harm human health.

Despite his insistence, the ban won't be scrapped, he said. The ministry is duty-bound to review the ban after proponents of the herbicides petitioned the NHSC on Tuesday.

He said the committee was aware the ban was to be brought up at Tuesday's meeting.

According to the director of the Department of Industrial Works (DIW), Wanchai Phanomchai, the petition was filed by a group of farmers, who claimed the ban was based on inaccurate information. The farmers, he said, claimed the herbicide residue data reviewed by the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives were different to that reviewed by the NHSC.

The DIW asked both ministries to respond to the claims at Tuesday's meeting but Mr Wanchai did not elaborate on the result.

A source at the Industry Ministry said the NHSC's planned review of the ban was halted by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he was informed by Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset.

Gen Prayut told Mr Suriya to drop the issue and not bring it up again.

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